• Memory Lane Trip: The Complete Handbook of Baseball

    Posted by on April 21st, 2006 · Comments (2)

    When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for The Complete Handbook of Baseball to come out each year. It was a paperback released by Signet and edited by Zander Hollander. I got my first one in 1975 and picked up my last edition in 1982. By 1980, I pretty much stopped reading them – but, since I had a streak going I still felt the urge to keep buying them. As a kid, I used to refer to them everyday during the season. After a while, the covers became pretty worn.

    As an example of what I mean, to see the cover of the 1977 edition that I owned, click here.

    I also had a bad habit of writing in them. (Hey, I was just a kid.)

    Click here to see the cover of the 1975 edition – which was the first one that I owned. Obviously, I felt (at the time) that Munson belonged with the other “stars” listed on the cover.

    Click here to see the cover of the 1979 edition from my collection. Since it had a Yankee on the cover, this one was a big deal to me at the time.

    I used to really get a kick of the player bios in the handbooks. Here’s the Yankees Juan Beniquez as it appeared in the 1979 handbook:

    BBHBJuan.jpg

    Yeah, it’s “Puff 101″ stuff by today’s standards. But, as a 16-year old in 1979, I still ate this junk up at the time.

    Ah, good times.

    Comments on Memory Lane Trip: The Complete Handbook of Baseball

    1. festus
      April 21st, 2006 | 10:23 am

      Awesome. I loved those books, with their goofy 70′s-80′s head shots (high mustache ratio) and division race predictions written like they were calling a horse race. My whole family used to get angry when those predictions didn’t list the Yankees in 1st place.

    2. RICH
      April 21st, 2006 | 10:47 am

      I remember the Fidrych cover and an earlier green one.

      I also remember that Hollander died and the edition issued after his death (was it by his wife?) wasn’t as good.

      On another note, I was surprised that the red Who’s Who books are still being printed. It was a rush seeing it again.

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